Today we were lucky enough to have Kim Patterson shadow our marketing department. Kim is in eighth grade and is part of the first group of students in over 20 years to enjoy her school’s climbing wall in PE class. Kim has been a climber for several years herself and is excited to be learning climbing in school with her friends and peers. Kim guest authored this blog to share with us a student’s perspective on climbing in the classroom.
At my school, we are required to take P.E. for half of the year. Most of the time, we learn to play a sport and play games with teams, but recently for the first time in 20 plus years, they have opened the climbing wall for us to use. As someone who does go rock climbing, this is very exciting, and I am super happy we get to do this. Most of the time when I climb, it is with a harness that is easy to put on, and an auto belay, which I prefer, so when we started talking about it and I found out that we will be using a different kind of harness and we will be learning how to tie knots, and how to belay someone, I got excited. For me, this is fun not only because we will get to climb, but because I am learning how to tie knots, and how to belay with a partner. I know that I’m not the only person who likes this unit, and I think that the kids at my school like learning all of this as well.
There are some things that I wish we could do a little differently, however. Because there are roughly 60 kids in my P.E. class, we have to split and do 2 different activities and climb every other day. I am used to going climbing for a while and not stopping until I am tired, so when I can only go for about 30 minutes, it feels weird, and like I didn’t get to do all that I wanted. I climb at the BRC where there are many different walls to choose from, and they change up the paths, so it isn’t always the same. At school though, I have 2 different paths to choose from, and they are always the same. In my opinion, it would be a good idea to change up the route of the climbing wall every so often.
From all of what I have learned in this class, I think that I have become a better climber. Not just because I have had time to climb, but because I am now more confident in the equipment, and how to use it, as well as helping other people with it. When I asked my PE teacher about the wall, she said that we haven’t been able to use the wall because there wasn’t anyone who was certified to use it. And now that we do have someone who is certified, everyone can use it, and learn more just like I have.